The demand of the green cards for Chinese workers in the US increased drastically in the last few years preceding COVID-19. The Green card is the name for the United States Permanent Resident Card, formerly the Alien Registration Card. Its name comes from the fact that it was green between 1946 and 1964. In 2010, the government chose to revert the United States Permanent Resident Card back to its original color.
China is quickly becoming the world’s biggest exporter of people. Resultingly, many Chinese are targeting the US as a priority for expatriation. The US is the currently the most popular destination for wealthy Chinese looking to get abroad. 80 per cent of the 7,641 investor immigrant visas in the U.S. in 2012 were taken up by Chinese according to The Wall Street Journal.
In general, worldwide expatriation is also on the rise. The number of international migrants worldwide was 232 million in 2013 according the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations. This represents an increase of 33 per cent on the year 2000.
As expected, international migrants mainly reside in developed regions. As a result Europe hosts the largest number of international migrants reaching 72 million. However Asia closely follows with 71 million, of which China represents more than a third.
The Purposes of a Green Card
The green card is proof of legal residence for its holder. It enables a lawful permanent resident (LPR) permission to reside and take employment in the United States. Nevertheless, the government may remove it in number of circumstances.
Crucially, a lawful permanent resident can apply for United States citizenship, or naturalization, after five years of residency. This period is three years if a green card holder can show proof of marriage to a U.S. citizen.
The U.S. immigration legislation in the Immigration and Nationality Act stipulates that resident status is obtainable though various channels. However, the green card remains the most popular option.
The immigration process can be undertaken through a family member, employment, investment, diversity lottery, refugee status and though the director of Central Intelligence decision.
Types of Green Cards for Chinese Residents
Each visa is classified into different categories with different eligibility requirements and quotas. The family-sponsor visa is one of the fastest channels, but the presence of a relative on the American land isn’t frequent. Subsequently, employment based visas are most popular for Chinese migrants. They require an employer to sponsor the visa and must result to a future job in the US.
A subcategory of Visa also exists, called the EB-5 visa. This particular type targets immigrant investors. It is obtainable much faster but requires an investment of $1,000,000.
Other statuses granting legal residence also exist, such as the Diversity Immigrant (DV), Political Asylum , and a Refugee status, may be helpful in more specific cases.
“The Hardest Visa to Get in the World”
The Chinese media often describe the US green card as the hardest to get in the world. Online surveys in China typically show that while the US is the favorite destination for migrant, it is also seen as the most difficult to reach for Chinese people.
Getting US green cards for Chinese workers is particularly costly. This is despite its reasonable purchase price for the wealthy. Most people don’t often realize that US citizenship brings a requirements to pay US taxes along with its benefits. This can be a problem for those who are unprepared.
In addition, due to green card quotas, the length of the whole application and approval process increases the difficulty of getting the permanent residence. Generally priority members can expect their applications to be processed in 6 months. However, the pandemic drastically increased wait times.
For non-immediate family members, the process may take up to 10 years. This is because government offices typically process paperwork on a first-come, first-serve basis. Getting no news for the first several months is standard.
As matter of security, once in the US, the owner must always carry their permanent resident document.
INS Global: A Worldwide Partner for GEO (Global Employment Outsourcing)
INS Global offers guidance and insights on a variety of labor practices and employment regulations worldwide. Our global PEO services and international EOR solutions provide simple ways for companies to hire and manage HR for the best in global talent.
Contact our team today to learn more about how we can help you streamline your global expansion and mobility.